All you folks who like to bend strings

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Bert Scrogshaw, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. Bert Scrogshaw

    Bert Scrogshaw Member

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    Hoots mon. What a terrible year. I hope that you are all keeping safe and getting through it.

    Now then.....my query. Is my fretboard too straight? I'm asking because I'm trying to play some 'old school' R&R guitar riffs (Mickey Gee / Shakin' Stevens style) but when I try to bend say the g string at the 6th fret up a tone, my finger pushes the g string over the d string and kills the sound. Should the string that I'm trying to bend go under the d string? How do you bend strings?

    Thank you.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Just carry the next string sideways with the one you are bending. You should be able to do that without the strings crossing, or even touching.
     
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  3. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    When I was starting to learn bends, the hardest part to figure out was managing the neighboring strings. Basically, if you want to do a deep bend on the G string, you will need to get a good hold on the G string as you start the bend, and when you get to the D start shoving it out of the way without putting any down pressure on it. That way you both mute it and clear a path. On a full bend, the D will usually try to join the G string under your finger, (sometimes even that A string will try and join the party) but as long as the sideways pressure remains stronger than the down, you will usually get adequate muting to prevent the D string from forming a full resonant note, and all that remains is keeping it from touching the string you want to sound because if they touch it tends to mute both notes.

    It is also possible grab the neighboring string as you travel and purposely voice it into the bend by letting it slip in and firmly fretting both as you continue. Both strings will probably touch a bit which will tend to mute them a little and reduce sustain, but unlike fully bending a "double stop" the relative intonation is going to be "whatever it is" rather than maintaining a clean interval, so I mostly use that technique intentionally when I want a quick bit of musical movement along with dash of brief dissonance. Learn to avoid it first, and learn to use it later. It is going to happen sometimes whether you want it to or not. :naughty:
     
  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    All true. And of course, while you are deep into a bend you won't be picking any other notes, so you can use a finger on the right hand to mute unwanted strings.
     
  5. Bert Scrogshaw

    Bert Scrogshaw Member

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    I'm double stopping on the b and top e strings almost simultaneously on fret 5 while bending on the g string!
     
  6. Bert Scrogshaw

    Bert Scrogshaw Member

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    A bit like this feller playing.

     
  7. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    That is an example of good bending technique. Emulate that and soon you will have success. I would start by focusing on just getting a clean bend on one string at a time (maybe 15 minutes a day), then move on to bending one and voicing another after you master the most basic technique just for simplicitys sake. Sure you can experiment with it as you "noodle around" after you practice, but learning that first clean bend should your main focus at the moment.
     
  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    And the really important part of any bend is the note you bend TO, not from. Bend all the way up to the note and don't stop short. Nothing sounds worse than a flat bend. OK, loads of things sound worse, but bending flat is a bit teeth-grinding.
     
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  9. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    Totally agree with that, a bend that doesn't quite make it to the right pitch just sounds like "epic fail" even if you get close and everything else was done correctly. Better to go a few cents sharp than a few cents flat.
     
  10. Bert Scrogshaw

    Bert Scrogshaw Member

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    Thanks for all af your advice. I so want to play this solo. So I'm going to go for it. I love my 'The Shadows' riffs.....but this is so old school rock and roll.
     
  11. Marky Forrest

    Marky Forrest New Member

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    When I bend I usually with my middle or ring finger, like everyone, and I lay my index finger on the strings to prevent any unwanted string noise. Maybe that would help.
     
  12. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I do much the same, although I have trained my pinkie to do minor bends. But for really deep bends I will bring as many as three fingers to bear behind the string.
     

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